The StatePast, Present, Future
The State
Past, Present, Future
Debates about the role and nature of the state are at the heart of modern politics. However, the state itself remains notoriously difficult to define, and the term is subject to a range of different interpretations.

In this book, distinguished state theorist Bob Jessop provides a critical introduction to the state as both a concept and a reality. He lucidly guides readers through all the major accounts of the state, and examines competing efforts to relate the state to other features of social organization. Essential themes in the analysis of the state are explored in full, including state formation, periodization, the re-scaling of the state and the state's future. Throughout, Jessop clearly defines key terms, from hegemony and coercion to government and governance. He also analyses what we mean when we speak about 'normal'
and 'exceptional' states, and states that are 'failed' or 'rogue'.

Combining an accessible style with expert sensitivity to the complexities of the state, this short introduction will be core reading for students and scholars of politics and sociology, as well as anyone interested in the changing role of the state in contemporary societies.
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  • December 2015
  • 248 pages
  • 160 x 237 mm / 6 x 9 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $72.75
  • 9780745633046
  • Paperback $28.00
  • 9780745633053
  • Open eBook $22.00
  • 9780745669946
Table of Contents

Preface viii

Tables x

Abbreviations xi

1 Introduction 1

Part I The State as Concept, Relation, and Reality 13

2 The Concept of the State 15

3 The State as a Social Relation 53

4 Power, Interests, Domination, State Effects 91

Part II On Territory, Apparatus, and Population 121

5 The State and Space–Time 123

6 State and Nation 148

7 Government + Governance in the Shadow of Hierarchy 164

Part III Past and Present (Futures) of the State 187

8 The World Market and the World of States 189

9 Liberal Democracy, Exceptional States, and the New Normal 211

10 The Future of States and Statehood 238

Notes 250

References 257

Index of Names 290

Subject Index 292

About the Author
Bob Jessop is Professor of Sociology at Lancaster University
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A crowning achievement - Bob Jessop at his accessible best.  An extraordinarily rich and important work in which the author combines his characteristic precision, range and analytical flair with that, oh so important, final ingredient - sheer accessibilty.  A genuine tour do force and surely the point of departure for all subsequent scholarship on the state.
Colin Hay, Sciences Po, Paris

"It is hard to think that anyone knows more about state theory than than Bob Jessop, and here he applies this encyclopaedic knowledge with great forensic skill."
Political Studies Review
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